They're attempting to pass the state government's employee pension reform 'before' new lawmakers take office next week. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's anxious to pass a bill.
Madigan says "unfortunately, there are still differences among the participants. My recommendation is that we move pass the differences and find a bill that we can pass, so that there'll be some action taken on the question of funding for these pension systems."
Madigan says they're still debating cost of living adjustments or cola for employees and retirees. They're also trying to determine whether workers should contribute more and whether they should wait longer before retirement. He also says he's willing to put off a proposal to shift pension costs away from the state and onto local districts for public school teachers. That was a big obstacle to a deal.
Madigan says "I'm willing to defer that in the spirit of trying to pass a bill now that does something about the funding question of pensions."
Lawmakers on both sides say they're determined to make something work before Wednesday.
Republican State Senator Christine Radongo says "I remain flexible, I will vote for something that addresses the problem. I'm not married to any particular framework. I want to solve the problem."